‘Mi only a live and fret’
Clarendon family in dilapidated house seeks help to better living conditions
Irene Morgan, a resident of Corn Hill in Smithville, Clarendon, who is now in her late 60s, says she has nothing much to look forward to except to “live and fret”.
She lives in a dilapidated house with the flooring threatening to give way, wattle-and-daub walls seemingly on the brink of collapse, precarious roofing, and the windows battened down with zinc to protect against the elements – a recipe for disaster should the slightest force come against it.
Morgan broke down in tears as she looked at the pit latrine she utilises as she spoke with The Gleaner.
Leaning like it’s about to topple, its seat is exposed and some of the boards on the floor are loose.
“Around 10 year now wi have di toilet and so di storm and di rain and everything, it just full, and so we fix it, it mash dung back because it full a water and mi nuh have nuh money ‘cause mi foot sick,” she explained, tearfully reflecting on her living conditions.
Morgan said her partner of over 30 years has been unable to provide for her as he used to, as for three years now he has been battling a prostate condition that sees him bleeding at the slightest exertion.
As for herself, she said that for 15 years, she has not left the yard to go to May Pen, as she has a vein that bleeds badly at the slightest touch, a condition doctors attributed to poor circulation.
“Mi caan go noweh. This one yah bleed, sometimes it (foot) swell big and sometimes it draw down,” she highlighted.
Morgan said there are days when she has to resort to begging money, as her children – including one who lives with her, along with her four children – are not working and are unable to offer her any help.
In a similar situation, they need assistance themselves, too, she said.
“Lawd Jesus! Yuh know sey mi deh pon PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education). From that month come een and mi get a money mi nuh have no more, nutten more again cause mi nuh have nobody fi help me,” she moaned.
Councillor the Frankfield Division, Clive Mundle, who called The Gleaner’s attention to Morgan’s plight, said he has been trying to do whatever his resources allow, but her condition is so bad that he is hoping the exposure will get her the desired help she so badly needs.
“I reached out to Food For The Poor when I discovered that she had an application there. I checked to find out how far along her application was. I took pics of the house and sent them. They responded and sent some documents to be filled out with a justice of the peace attesting to it, that was done,” he informed.
Mundle said that with the charity also attending to others with the same or even greater need, he also engaged Member of Parliament Phillip Henriques, who, he said, promised to explore the possibility of her getting a home through the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme.
“We are hopeful that one or the other will come through for her,” Mundle explained.
With the hurricane season just over three months away, Morgan said that with no extended family to turn to, she is already worrying about what would happen if the structure collapses.
“Mi only a live and fret and a pray to God dat mi nuh sick ‘cause mi nuh know who fi call pon,” she said, adding that her father, who hailed from Manchester, and was brought to Clarendon to work, never went back.
“Him nuh go back a Manchester fi wi know about wi family. Mi madda family dem, most a dem dead off, so a mi alone. If mi dead, mi nuh have nobody fi bury mi,” she said.
How you can help
If you can assist Irene Morgan, call Frankfield Division Councillor Clive Mundle at 876-883-8846.